Wichita Chamber Chorale to present Poulenc’s Stabat Mater

The Wichita Chamber Chorale will present its spring concert, featuring Francis Poulenc’s “Stabat Mater” on Palm Sunday weekend, April 16-17, 2011. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16 at West Heights United Methodist Church, 745 N. Westlink, Wichita; and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17 at East Heights United Methodist Church, 4407 E. Douglas, Wichita.

Among the most enduring and moving masterpieces of choral music are those which focus upon Christ on the cross. The age-old text “Stabat mater dolorosa” (“The mother stood grieving”) touches chords of horror, compassion and love, and the dazzling and dramatic setting of French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) reflects compellingly upon the mysteries of Godly sacrifice and human suffering.

Under the direction of new Music Director Mark Bartel the Wichita Chamber Chorale presents two performances of this seldom-heard work, with local soprano Rolaine Hetherington and orchestra. The concert will also feature the renowned Wichita Community Children’s Choir and accompanist Dr. James Knight, under the direction of their newly-appointed conductor, Jennifer Johnson. The two choirs will combine to perform several Lenten works with organist Julie Warkentin under the direction of Mark Bartel.

The Wichita Chamber Chorale is lauded as Wichita’s premiere choral ensemble. In July 2010, Dr. Bartel was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Wichita Chamber Chorale–the third artistic director in the choir’s 33-year history. This season he begins his sixth year as Director of Choral Music at Friends University and Conductor of the Singing Quakers. He holds the Master of Music and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Organist and pianist Julie Warkentin accompanies the ensemble.

Tickets are available at Senseney Music Company, 2300 E Lincoln, Wichita. They may also be purchased online, at the door, or by telephone. Call (316) 267-2796 for more information.

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